• Yamaha Unveils YZF-R1 Endurance World Championship Bikes

The Yamaha YZF-R1 is getting a whole lot of press time recently as the 2015 racing season draws closer and closer. That’s what happens when you have a bike that’s already being touted as a serious contender in whatever racing series it joins. Such is the case in the Endurance World Championship where the YZF-R1 will be well-represented by a handful of teams competing in the series.

Recently, Yamaha Racing pulled the covers off of the bikes competing in the EWC, and as expected, the liveries of the machines are nothing short of breathtaking. Taking top honors is the GMT94 Michelin Racing team, which brought the EWC title back to the House of Iwata after a seemingly dynastic run by Suzuki in the past few seasons. This year, the team returns to defend its title with riders David Checa, Kenny Foray, and Mathieu Gines. With the R1 at their disposal, it’s won’t be a stretch to think that Yamaha’s got the horse to ride to another title this season.

If the GMT94 Michelin Racing team isn’t worrying about Suzuki this season, then it just might have to look over its shoulder to the Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART), which is not only bringing their own version of the R1 to the series, but will also have a field of riders that are no slouches themselves. Just checking the combined racing pedigree of Ivan Silva, Max Neukirchner, and Broc Parkes could make competitors squeamish. Neukirchner and Parkes, in particular, even have MotoGP experience so you know that these two will be riding this season with intentions of winning the world championship.

The 2015 Endurance World Championship will have its season-opening race with the 24 Hours of Le Mans on April 18 and 19, 2015.

Click "continue reading" to read more about the Yamaha YZF-R1 Endurance World Championship racer.

Why it matters

The FIM Endurance World Championship is a unique racing series in that there are only a handful of races in the series. Unlike other competitions where there’s anywhere from 15 to 19 legs, the EWC only has four legs: Le Mans, Suzuka, Oscherleben, and Bol d’Or.

That makes each race that much more important because if you lose out on the top step of the podium in two of these races, you’re already sitting in a pretty deep hole won the title.

That’s why it’s important for teams like the GMT94 Michelin Racing team and Yamaha Austria Racing Team to get a leg up on the competition. Fortunately, both teams have a racing bike that appears to be up-to-task to not only hold of the Suzukis and Kawasakis of the series, but to actually contend for the championship.

The GMT94 Michelin Racing team proved that it could win the series last year. Now it’s hoping to make it two-in-a-row. It’s got a lot of stiff competition on its hands but if you ask Yamaha, it probably would want to see both the GMT94 Michelin Racing Team and the Yamaha Austria Racing Team duking it out for the title.

Quite frankly, I wouldn’t mind watching that, either.

Source: Yamaha-Racing

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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